‘The Dining Dead’
Remember that one scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where Jim Carrey’s character is wondering whether he and Kate Winslet’s character have unknowingly become the kind of couple in the restaurant that just sits quietly across from each other, with nothing left to say to each other.
“Have we become the dining dead?”
It’s not that hard for a relationship to turn stale, and that doesn’t mean that it’s anyone’s fault; it’s just the way of the world.
But if the relationship is still healthy and you’re both happy, there are steps you can take to keep things interesting.
Ready to learn how not to be boring in a relationship? You’d better be because the train is leaving the station.
Listen and Respond
Let’s start with the obvious. You already know that you need to listen to your partner. We’ve all heard this a million and a half times, but we don’t always do it.
This is your chance to think back on past relationships you’ve had during your relationship. Has your significant other been putting out signals? Have they mentioned several times in the past that there are things they’d like to do, things they’d like to try?
If you weren’t super keen on the idea, you might have put it to the back of your mind. Maybe you’re not super excited about the idea of getting into ballroom dancing.
This is the part where you’ll have to revert to the old adage: don’t knock it ‘til you try it. If your partner is excited about something, don’t be the boring person who dodges the activity until they start to get angry or disheartened.
If it’s a new relationship, then keep your ears wide open. Your partner is bound to mention things they’d like to do or places they’d like to go.
You don’t have to do all of these things, but discussing them in a thoughtful manner will show your partner that you’re listening and that you care.
Challenge Yourself and Your Partner
Now let’s look at the situation from the reverse angle. Maybe your partner is more than happy to just hang out on the couch and watch the same shows over and over. And don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with relaxing around the house with your favorite person, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you do together.
In certain situations, you might need to be the one who gets the ball rolling on some new and exciting activities and conversations.
Talk to them about the things you’ve wanted to do for years. Is it time to learn a new language? Maybe! What are you waiting for?
Growth and change are important for any relationship. You should challenge yourself and you should challenge your partner. Not only will this keep things from getting boring, but it will also help you both grow and mature as human beings.
And when you’re maturing, life tends to provide the excitement so you don’t have to.
Do Cool Sh*t Out on the Town
Good news everybody: we live in the future. No matter where you live, there’s cool stuff to do all over the place, and there’s no excuse for not doing it.
Talk to friends, ask them what they’ve been up to, what their hobbies are.
You can also check out the hundreds of apps that cater to local events. You can find a group based around one of your favorite interests, or if you’re in a larger city, you can sign up for test movie screenings, album release parties, or low-cost comedy shows featuring some of the biggest names in the biz.
If you’re not feeling quite that adventurous, then become an amateur foodie (Is that phrase redundant?) and explore restaurants and gastropubs in your area that you haven’t been to before.
If you’re looking to learn a new skill or hobby, then local community colleges are the perfect resource. Many offer adult education evening and night classes in a wide range of subjects from photography to acting to cooking to woodworking to, yes, even ballroom or swing dancing.
Learn more about the place where you live. There will always be hidden gems.
Make Friends as a Couple
When you’re in a relationship, you have two types of friends: the friends you had before you entered the relationship and the friends you made along with your partner.
Seeing and meeting friends as a couple can be a great way to spend time together while also being social and getting a little bit of space from each other.
The dreaded double dates of old aren’t a requirement, do something fun instead. Go to movies with other couples and single friends. Go to concerts and theater shows. Let friends introduce you to new and interesting activities, even if those activities seem a bit intimidating at first.
In Closing: Self-Regulating Your Boring Levels
Adjusting your habits while in a relationship can be some tricky business. You don’t necessarily want to change your personality or who you are, but there’s always room for improvement.
Boring is a subjective term, especially when it’s applied to people, all of whom are complex and varied.
Trying to be less boring in a relationship shouldn’t be an attempt to change your identity. But if you feel that you’ve been in a rut for a while, then there’s nothing wrong with pushing yourself to change a few things.
Deep down, no one wants to be in a relationship with someone who has no ambition whatsoever. And ambition applies to much more than your life situation and career; it’s also about how you spend your days and how you try to make life interesting and exciting for your partner.
At the end of the day, just try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. What do they see in you? What do they love about who you are? Chances are you weren’t boring at the start of the relationship, so why not bring that energy back?
A successful relationship is one that evolves.